December Is Moving On

The morning is going easily by, it started with a morning temp of 25° – BRRR.

It’s hubby’s last of four days off before his next four on; his work shift is four 12hour days. Long work days but the four days off is nice. We enjoyed our coffee together, chatting about the day to come. We’ve moseyed through the morning, hubby went to men’s group, and then we had a walk to the mail box (we are rural so it isn’t out front.) Millie came with us which made her excessively happy.

I have a young woman coming at noon to try on a wedding dress I made alterations to, it was her late mother’s dress so I hope she is happy with the way it turned out. I had such a wonderful experience with it and hope I can get the chance to do more things like this. I have two machines: a sewing machine and a serger, and they give me the tools to do most any type of sewing I desire.

One of our Christmas traditions is that hubby is responsible for filling the stockings. He takes this job very seriously and it is always a combination of toys or gadgets with lots of candy. Also there is always a Lifesaver’s book inside. As he starts to add things I hear him chuckle as he is thinking of their reaction to what he has picked for them.

Since we will spend Christmas eve with our daughter, and he is working Christmas day I hosted a get together for my besties and their spouses last weekend. I made shepherd’s pie with ground elk instead of beef, and homemade soda bread. I can’t have beef unless it is very lean like veal. It turned out pretty good according to all who sampled it. We also did an ornament exchange which was so fun with lots of laughs. We each brought a wrapped tree ornament, then drew numbers to pick in order. We only had one trade, and all were happy with their ornament.

Covid-19 struck me in the job hunting department. I sent in a cover letter and resume to Biosphere 2 for a cashier position. However because of the virus the attendance is down so no hiring right now “but they will keep my information.” Dang virus!

I got a good report from my vascular surgeon, and now I only have a few more follow-up visits. My incision looks good and not so noticeable. I was a bit self-conscious.

So all you fine folks are caught up on the Catalina AZ news.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

The 3rd Verse

O HOLY NIGHT is a Christmas Hymn that isn’t really a favorite for many because its a bit hard to sing, and most people consider it a song for a soloist.

I’ve sung it quite a bit, but this morning I had Christmas music playing and this song came on. In this case the third verse was sung and it blew me away. The words are powerful and profound. Take a look and see. It takes on a new meaning, kind of like the other verses of the National Anthem do.

Verse 3:
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Cheers!

-N

What I Get from Story Research

Because I try to infuse authenticity into my writing I end up spending plenty of time on research. I am creating a fictional town in Coastal Maine so I needed to know a few things other than what I personally experienced and observed when I spent time in Ogunquit and Perkins Cove.

  • Does my town have a police department or is it manned by a sheriff substation?
  • What does it take to transfer out of state junior college credits to University of Southern Maine?
  • What does the job look like for my local part-time harbor master?

The research can tease out local vernacular, slang, and regional expressions. Something else I discover in this research process is friendliness, open and forthcoming are the residents of my fictional town.

The story has a wide age and gender demographic that takes some social media and You Tube research to get the feel for preteen, high school or college student conversations.

My story also features transplanted people, a mother, daughter, and son. They are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. That one I’ve got lots of experience with since I have dozens of relatives and friends in east Texas “ya’ll”.

Maine, well that one I am developing, “ya see”.

Making a sharp right – anyone else have family or friends who are putting up Christmas decorations? I just can’t do it yet. A decorated house starts to feel extremely cluttered after about three weeks. I’ve contemplated not putting up as many decorations as I usually do, for this reason. My decoration theme is Santa and Nativity: I cover the Christian and the secular. I have a big pre-lit tree (don’t judge me real tree purists) and haven’t added to my collection of decorations other than a new tree ornament.

One of my most treasured Christmas items are my Byer’s Choice Carolers. If you haven’t seen the I suggest you check them out. https://www.byerschoice.com They are beautiful, collectable, and hand made top market items. My collection is “A Christmas Carol” because this is my absolute favorite Christmas story. They are so precious to me I have identified who gets them in my will. So I don’t want to tire of them.

Another right turn – this Saturday, 14 November, NASA is launching the first manned Space-X crew on a mission. The crew of four, Crew-1, will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft. The crew arrived to the Astronaut Crew Quarters at Kennedy Space Center Monday. As a space geek I dig this stuff.

So back to work. I hope the rest of your week is spectacular.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

A modern Christmas Carol.

 

Any story that uses my most favorite holiday story Dickens, A Christmas Carol is bound to be good.

This wonderful story uses this theme of past, present and future to weave a story of redemption (sort of.) Verity is her longsuffering self where Ellis’ mother is concerned, but she reaches her breaking point when she is insulted for the last time.

This leads to the discovery (with the help of few family ghosts) of the anamosity and apathy in his family, and why his mother is the witch she is. Frankie stirs things up, a friend who gave Verity her pet skunk Lucy shows up but in not so fleshly form.

It’s fast, funny, and gives readers a great holiday treat.

 

I received this as an advanced reading company for an unbiased review.

 

Cheers!

-N

Getting Holiday Motivated

It’s three weeks until Thanksgiving and about six weeks until Christmas.

My daughter and grandson live in Phoenix. My son and daughter in law live in Orlando. Hallmark channel is not helping.

I love the scenes of family gatherings depicted in these programs but they also make me miss having my kids with me. My daughter is a very manageable distance and I will be spending Thanksgiving with her. She and my grandson will be with us for a few days at Christmas.  Lots of cooking, laughing, pampering, and fun will happen.

I am grateful for that time with them.

I hope and pray that one day my son will be in the place in life and job he can spend some holiday time with us. He and his wife are so much fun, and our times together are fantastic.

So I sit, looking through cookbooks,  trying new recipes, thinking of decorating and having my babies with me.

It will be okay and the love will pass easily between us this season.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Do you believe?

I was that little girl who utterly believed in Santa, and the magic of Christmas. To this day the feelings and joy of belief in Santa enchants me. I adore stories that validate my childish memories and build my depth of belief in the Christmas spirit.

Like many children I discovered the painful truth by accident. One morning I was looking for my father, and stumbled across him in the neighbors garage. I saw he and our neighbor were putting together one of those little play kitchens and before he could see me I ran off. You can imagine what I realized when that very toy kitchen was sitting next to our tree on Christmas morning.

I never told him what I knew, but by the next year my Santa connection sadly was over. Yet, I still wanted to believe.

This blog was prompted by me watching Hallmark Christmas in Summer movies. What can I say?

What are your memories, feelings, and  emotions that fill your heart for the upcoming season?

Share…

Cheers!

-N

The New Year is Here!

Today Christmas left the building. One thing I really wanted to do was organize all of my Christmas decorations into better groupings of items and themes. It was fun, and hubby helped, with no arguments!! His help made it go so fast I can honestly say we whittled it down significantly in the number of Christmas storage tubs. Also the tree ornaments were separated by type, and packed by theme. Next year I want to have a small real tree to compliment our big artificial one. The small one will be angels, stars, and snowflakes. The big tree will be all of the rest of them. I may get a small table top artificial one for the non-sparkly decorations. I am considering it.

Charlie spent Christmas with us, then he came back for New Years so his mother could finish last minute stuff without him underfoot (you can imagine the havoc an almost four year old can wreak) and also get a break before the school year starts.

Christmas was fun with Charlie. He was very patient while waiting to open his presents. When we said it was time to open gifts he celebrated. He did pretty well this Christmas and then when he came back to our house for second time it snowed on New Years day. And he loved it!

He discovered he could eat snow, and throwing a snowball at me makes me jump. (Insert him laughing hysterically.)

So, we are four days into 2019 and the best I can say is it feels like winter here in southern Arizona, and my house is Christmas free 😁👍 .

I hope to upgrade my blog by the end of the month. My Twitter and Instagram pages will stay the sames. Facebook will have a big change for my current author page. It is connected to my personal page and I cannot separate it. Instead I will set up a whole new one and move everything over to that page. This will take some fancy footwork on my part but it is part of making a more professional footprint of my internet presence.

Good luck all and I hope 2019 will be stellar for all!

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

I did it for the first time!

Yes I did, and I can admit I was nervous. 

     Would it look silly? What if my idea was laughable? Would others appreciate it?

I ordered photo Christmas cards and a self inking address stamp! I am so proud of myself. Every year I get those from friends and family, loving the new pics and wishing I had my act together to do it for hubby and I.

But this year I did, a bit behind the date but I hope the folks who receive one will enjoy it and want to keep it. I must have dozens of these I’ve saved for years. They are so special and some come with a newsy letter. I have them in a manila envelope and plan to make albums for them.

My card this year has hubby, me and Charlie in Santa hats, wearing Christmas light necklaces. We went to my daughter’s house and took the pics in front of her tree. Such fun to corral an almost four year old with unlimited energy in front of a decorated tree, trying to get him to leave the hat on, let go of the lights, stand up, smile, etc., but we managed to take some very fun photos. I think this will be our tradition, hubby and I with grandkid/s in Santa hats and Christmas light necklaces.

We also got some of Charlie and his momma too. They are sweet and funny, but one was of momma giving him “the look” when he wandered off and wouldn’t listen, and we laughed outloud when we saw it. I told her she needed to make a poster of it and put it in her classroom 😉👌.

I used Shutterfly for the cards and it was pretty easy. Now I hope to get them addressed and out before Christmas!

Fourteen days until Christmas Eve. Get those gifts wrapped, hire someone to clean the house, put up the lights, finish the cooking and baking, learn the songs for the Christmas Eve service, keep writing and sewing.

I’ve got this. 🤞🎄

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Are Christmas Cards Passé?

I have a collection of Christmas cards that come from several years. They were the last one or two left in the box, unused. I have counted them and I found I have no need to purchase cards this year. The leftovers will take care of my needs. I don’t send out nearly as many I did in the past. It seems cards aren’t the thing they once were.

My mother-in-law, like many of her generation sent out dozens of cards often with school photos, a Christmas letter or both.  They kept track of friends who have moved away, family in distant places, and acquaintances who were now only “Christmas card friends.”  Do you read the Christmas letters when you get one?

This Saturday hubby and I will be meeting our daughter to take a photo with our grandson. This photo will be included in our Christmas cards for close friends and family. My daughter was teasing that instead of being in the picture she will be taking it! We will, however, be taking photos of her and Charlie for her own Christmas greetings.

When we get photo cards (I never get around to getting those made😜) I save them. They are precious records of people I care about. One day I plan to put them in a scrap book showing how families have grown up.

I remember mailing fifty cards (hubby and I each signed them,) hoping the addresses were correct and if returned would include a forwarding address. Now most of these have been replaced with Facebook and Instagram holiday greetings.

Will the actual cards become a thing of the past?

What will USPS do with all those holiday themed stamps?

Cheers!🍸🍷

-N